Jofra Archer got his team off to an excellent start as he picked up Faf du Plessis and gave only 5 runs from his two overs in the powerplay, after MS Dhoni elected to bat first. In the fourth over of the match, Sam Curran and Watson tried to leverage the fielding restrictions and attacked Kartik Tyagi. It was one shot too many for Watson as he flicked one to Tewatia.
At the end of powerplay, CSK were at 43-2, but their scoring rate dropped dramatically in the overs to come. RR were attacking with leg spinners from both ends in the form of Shreyas Gopal and Tewatia, and it was Gopa who got rid of the opener Curran for a 25 ball 22. Rayudu, after surviving a LBW call in the same over, got out in the next over to Tewatia.
Struggling at 56-4 at the halfway stage, MS and Jadeja did the repair work as CSK went boundaryless for nearly 8 overs. Only in the 14th over, both the batsmen showed some intent against Tyagi and scored 14 off him. Just when it seemed they were about to give the final push, MS was run out and Jadeja could manage only 2 fours in the 19th over as CSK settled for a paltry 125.
Chasing 126 in a must win game, Stokes hit four boundaries in no time before chopping onto his stumps against Chahar. Uthappa tried an ugly scoop only to be caught by Dhoni. Samson was out for a three ball duck as Chahar picked up his second.
At 28-3 around the five over stage, CSK were on top given how shaky RR’s middle order has been. But with the required rate less than 7, there was no need to panic for the batsmen as Steve Smith took the time to get settled in. Buttler however, tried to hit a boundary an over to never allow the rate to go out of sight.
The score read 92-3 at the end of 14 overs and then Buttler decided to up the ante and cracked three consecutive fours off Chawla to bring up his fifty in 37 balls. Steve Smith too helped himself to a boundary against Chawla in the 17th over and hit the winning run in the next over as RR won the match easily with 15 balls to spare.
-- Jatin Shad